Three attacks at Inwood Hill Park have an Upper Manhattan community on edge. As police investigate the incidents at the NYC park, residents wonder if it’s still safe.
According to authorities, three separate incidents occurred within the same hour at the Manhattan park and investigators are still trying to understand what happened. Beginning at around 10:50 a.m. on Wednesday, a man approached a 34-year-old woman while she walked the trails of Inwood Hill Park in New York City.
The attacker claimed he wanted to rape the woman before punching her in the face. The unidentified man then robbed the woman, stealing her iPhone, Apple Watch, and earbuds before fleeing the scene.
The woman is in stable condition, according to police. The disturbing incident was one of three attacks in Inwood Hill Park that day, each occurring within the same hour. The second incident began 40 minutes later at around 11:30 a.m.
While a 40-year-old woman was walking her dog, a man threatened to rob her and told her he wanted to sexually assault her. During the confrontation in broad daylight, the man explained he was going to kill the woman’s dog. As she screamed for help, the man fled the scene.
About 17 minutes after the second attack, a third woman was approached by a man while walking her dog. The 44-year-old was smacked over the head with a tree branch and her dog ran off. One report claims the woman was sexually assaulted and robbed while she was knocked unconscious. Another report says the man only attempted to pull her pants down before fleeing.
The woman was found after a Good Samaritan discovered her dog which had wandered off. While searching for its owner, the man spotted the woman staggering out of a wooded area of the Manhattan park. The two called the police and the 44-year-old woman was taken to Harlem Hospital. She had sustained a cut to her head but was in stable condition, according to police. It’s unclear whether the woman was the victim of a sexual assault.
Investigators have not identified any suspects in the case. While the suspect in all three attacks was described as a Hispanic man, police are not sure whether it was the same man.
The chaotic morning in Inwood Hill Park Wednesday has parkgoers concerned. The park, which is described as a quiet and safe area, was riddled with violence and danger. The Upper Manhattan community is worried that attacks will continue in the area if the police do not find who is responsible.
“I am speechless, especially in the daytime,” one woman admitted, explaining that the news was scary. “I’m in shock.”
A man explained that the situation is extremely concerning. “I was here yesterday and the day before. You don’t expect this at all.” He continued, saying that “I don’t know the level of viciousness, but normally walking around, no one is around. It’s a very quiet area.” The man, along with many New York City residents, is wondering if Inwood Hill Park is dangerous and not safe anymore.
According to the NYPD, witnesses last saw the attacker walking deeper into Inwood Hill Park. He is described as a brutish man standing at about 5 feet 10 inches. He was reportedly wearing tan khaki shorts. Police are still trying to figure out if they are searching for the same man or three different suspects in connection to the series of attacks.
Inwood Hill Park is a public park located in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The Henry Hudson Parkway runs through the middle of the park and its west side is connected to the Hudson River. Normally a safe area, Inwood Hill Park is described as a “living piece of old New York” according to the NYC Parks website.
The area has prehistoric roots, containing caves, valleys, and ridges caused by shifting glaciers. The park is known for its natural beauty, hiking trails, and Hudson River Bike trail. Many people visit the park each day and appreciate its calm serenity while walking dogs, going for runs, or performing other recreational activities. Until now, the park was deemed a safe spot for residents of New York City.